Tag Archives: Immigration Policy

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IMMIGRANT, LABOR AND PROGRESSIVE GROUPS SAY: “WE WILL MARCH ON MAY DAY FOR LEGALIZATION, JOBS, & EDUCATION, NOT MONEY FOR BORDER MILITARIZATION”

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Video

Get With The Times, New York Times. Drop The I-Word.

Published on Apr 3, 2013
by http://colorlines.com/droptheiword

“The Associated Press just dropped the term “illegal immigrant” from its stylebook, becoming the newest news outlet to drop dehumanizing language and embrace good journalism. Will the New York Times follow suit?”

Produced by Qualified Laughter: http://qualifiedlaughter.com/

Uprooted at May Day 2011 in NYC!

May 1st is commemorated internationally as a day to celebrate workers rights and the labor struggle. Especially within the United States, a large contingent of those who observe the holiday are migrants. There are many ways that labor issues and migrant issues overlap. The Uprooted team attended this year’s May Day demonstration in New York City’s historic Union Square, where labor organizers and migrant activists held a joint demonstration for the first time in several years. Perhaps it was the inspirational outpouring of labor activism in Wisconsin or perhaps a general feeling that it is time for old methods to change, that led organizers to recognize the need to unite their movements.

At the demonstration Uprooted chatted with activist Leilani Montes of the Association of Feminist Filipinas Fighting Imperialism, Re-Feudalization and Marginalization (AF3IRM), a “national organization of women engaged in transnational feminist, anti-imperialist activism”. AF3IRM, like Uprooted looks to tie together social issues which overlap and intersect, such as how modern day imperialism leads to migration and to laws that violate workers rights, much like the upsurge in temporary worker programs.

In the clip featured below, Leilani explained her opinion to us about the ways in which labor and migration issues mix together:

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYK5nksA%5D

How do you feel labor and migration issues are related? Share your thoughts!

Uprooted at the Left Forum!

Check out these panel discussions, filmed by Uprooted in March, at the 2011 Left Forum, the largest annual conference of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and individuals.  These two panel discussions “Race and Racism in the Immigration Debate” and “Pass the Dream Act: How the Student Immigrant Youth is Leading the Immigration Debate” provide some food for thought on some of the central issues addressed by Uprooted.

Watch it here:
[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYK1lxgA%5D

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Georgia State Legislature Passes SB 1070-inspired Immigration Bill

On Friday, Georgia state lawmakers passed House Bill 87, one of the harshest enforcement-based immigration policies in the country. Passed just before their legislative session ended, HB 87 is styled after Arizona’s SB 1070, and comes as Republican-controlled state governments across the country are adopting enforcement-only policies, including Indiana, Utah and others.

Though the bill takes cues from Arizona’s controversial measure, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has acknowledged that the goal in passing HB 87 is to enact state immigration policy while avoiding legal challenges from the federal government. To that end, HB 87 does not require immigrants to carry documents, but it does allow state and local police to use criminal investigations as a pretext to question suspects about their immigration status. Like SB 1070, critics argue that HB 87 “insists on demonizing people with brown skin and Spanish accents,” as Georgia State Senator Nan Orrock stated. She pointed out that enforcement-only policies that target undocumented immigrants make racial profiling acceptable and presume the guilt of Latino populations.

The bill also makes it illegal to knowingly transport undocumented immigrants and requires business with more than 10 employees to use a federal immigration database called E-Verify to check immigration status and minimize document fraud. Yet, it places the legal burden on document fraud entirely on workers, allowing for sentences of up to 15 years and fines of up to $250,000 for workers who forge documents. One could argue that such penalties verge on cruel and unusual. Georgia’s economy, particularly the agriculture sector, relies on undocumented labor. The bill’s E-Verify provision was a compromise, business lobbies would have preferred that verification be voluntary, precisely because so many of them rely on the substandard wages they can get pay undocumented workers who have little legal protection from underpayment.

Governor Deal has indicated that he intends to sign the bill. If he does not sign or veto it within 40 days, it will become law. HB 87 is the most recent move in the battle between states and the federal government over immigration. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a judge’s injunction blocking the most controversial parts of SB 1070, on the grounds that individual states cannot enact laws that punish violations of federal law. Yet, states continue to introduce and pass legislation similar to SB 1070, and the Department of Homeland Security continues to encourage states to act on their own by using the E-Verify database. The debate over immigration is not just about immigration, it is about labor, education, law enforcement, distribution of resources and fundamental understandings about what it means to be “American.” The way the debate plays out will necessarily impact the future of the United States. Organizers and immigrant groups around the country are protesting the passage of anti-immigration legislation. In Georgia, U.S. Representative John Lewis urged that protesters remain unafraid in the face of injustice, adding that he was arrested 40 times during the Civil Rights Movement.

HB 87, SB 1070 and other similar bills underscore the importance of a more robust dialogue on the politics of migration. Deep Dish TV’s interactive Uprooted series will critically analyze the current U.S. immigration debate from perspectives outside of the corportate media. The project will put forth a grassroots perspective that corporate media outlets rarely present. It will feature submissions from artists, activists, and videographers around the globe, who present their own visions of the politics of migration in a variety of contexts.

Dreaming of Demilitarizing

The goal of Uprooted is to bring together many different voices speaking out about migration. On this blog we have posted several videos of the DREAMers, those brave and unflinching youth who are fighting to pass the one piece of legislation they feel comes anywhere close to granting them real reform. These young people are spear-heading the fight to gain rights for people without documents. They feel that the DREAM Act is the only viable bill that could possibly gain them some of these rights, and they argue that whatever its shortcomings, it is still worth fighting for. The DREAM Act would allow undocumented youth the possibility to gain papers by either going to college or joining the military. Supporters of the bill contend that even the military provision should not be a deal breaker, for shouldn’t undocumented students have all the same rights as others, even the right to join the military?

Yet we feel we can not ignore those voices that critique and criticize the DREAM Act as well. Not because they oppose the principals that everyone is entitled to an education or the security to know that they will not be uprooted from their home and separated from their families; but rather because they oppose the militaristic aspect of the bill. There are those who see the military section of the DREAM Act as a virtual draft of undocumented youth, a sort of blackmail to join the armed forces in exchange for papers. There are those activists who say, “We must champion the DREAMers movement — that is, a real DREAM Act without any militaristic strings attached.”

For the perusal of all those interested in this discussion we would like to recommend the following articles:

Rethinking the DREAM Act by Alejandra Juarez
and
DREAM Act as Military Draft? A statement from the Vamos Unidos Youth

Juan’s Story: Undocumented but not Un-American

In this touching video piece, a young undocumented immigrant discusses how it feels to be trapped in a world where undocumented immigrants, who are primarily Latino, are cast as parasites that drain the United States of its resources without offering a feasible path to citizenship to those already here. It is crucial to remember that the immigration debate has had and will continue to have real effects, not only for the U.S., but for the millions of people who want to live, work and be happy in the country.

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